Do you leave the gym feeling like you’ve left absolutely nothing on the table every time? Most of us can’t respond to this question with a resounding yes. We all have days when we feel like we haven’t really put in enough effort or quite achieved what we set out to accomplish. There may be days when you’re under the weather or tiredness puts pay to a PB, but if you experience this feeling on a regular basis, there may be changes you can make to get more out of your workouts. If you’re looking to maximise the time you have available, here are some strategies to try.

Work with a personal trainer

It can be incredibly difficult to push yourself every single time you set foot in the gym. Even if you’re highly motivated, and you’ve got targets in sight, you may not be able to push the limits on your own, and this is where personal training comes in handy. Working with an experienced trainer can help you achieve more. Your trainer can plan a targeted, tailored workout regime for you, and they will be there to dictate the pace, encourage you to work harder and to reassure and support you when you’re floundering. If you’ve got a trainer with you, or you’ve joined group training sessions, this will also help you to improve your technique and to set goals and objectives that are tough but realistic.

Introduce a competitor

We’ve all been there. We’re working out, minding our own business, going at a steady pace, and then somebody joins on the neighbouring machine, and we get competitive and employ beast mode. Humans are naturally competitive specimens, and even the sight of another person can make you work harder. If you feel like you’re not quite at peak level yet, introducing a competitor can give you that extra push you need. You could invite friends or a sibling to join you, or you could look into classes, for example, boot camps, circuit training or spinning.

Take a break

You might assume that going to the gym every day holds the key to success, but overtraining is a real threat to achievement. It’s good to work hard, but you also need to give your body time to rest and rebuild. Physical activity takes its toll on your body, and you need to go through the necessary restorative processes to facilitate healing and recovery. Don’t work out at full throttle every day. If you don’t want to take a rest day and do nothing, go for a swim or do a yoga class.

Set a goal

We all know that a lack of motivation can be a stumbling block. If you’re eager to stick to a new fitness regime, one of the best ways to stay motivated is to set goals. The key to using this technique effectively lies in pushing yourself at the same time as being realistic. If you aim too high, you’ll set yourself up for disappointment, and ultimately, this could set you back. Be ambitious, but know your limits. If the end goal is a way away, for example, you want to train to run a marathon in 12 months’ time, establish minor milestones along the way. Start with 5 miles, and increase it to 10 miles, 15 miles, and 20 miles as you build your stamina and endurance.

Look after yourself

Being healthy doesn’t just mean putting your body through its paces on an assault course or a mountain hike. While exercise is extremely beneficial for both physical and mental health, it’s not the only contributing factor to good health. If you want to get the best out of your body, you need to take steps to look after it. Make sure you get enough rest and sleep, eat well, and try and manage stress as effectively as possible. Stress can affect your body and your mind, and it’s one of the most common ailments in modern society. Working out can reduce stress, but you might also want to try additional techniques, such as meditation and breathing exercises if you fear that stress is getting the better of you.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of leaving the gym, crossing the finish line or finishing an exercise class and realising that you couldn’t have given any more. If you’re struggling to get the best out of your body and push yourself hard enough, there are steps you can take. Work with a personal trainer, compete with others, and make sure you’re giving your body enough time to recover between sessions. Look after yourself and work towards targets to keep motivation levels high.

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